Out Leadership

Guidelines for Corporate Engagement Around LGBT+ Equality


Companies in the private sector are increasingly receiving requests that they take action around external issues related to LGBT+ equality and the volume of these requests can become overwhelming.


Out Leadership formed a working group of key stakeholders from the private sector around external engagement requests.

We identified best practices and identified eight primary criteria that companies should consider when faced with requests to take action around external issues. These include:

  1. Business connection: Does the issue in question have a direct connection to the company’s business?
  2. Talent: Will this issue affect LGBT+ employees’ willingness or ability to work in a certain location, or will the issue negatively impact colleagues’ LGBT+ children or immediate family members?
  3. Location: Does the company have an employee footprint in the jurisdiction affected by this issue?
  4. Impact: Will taking action on a local issue lead to wider attention and positive market or talent impacts?
  5. Industry stance: Have major industry peers and competitors taken or are likely to take action on an issue?
  6. History: Has the company previously taken a public stance around an identical or very similar issue, and what are the consequences of not taking action again?
  7. Alternatives: Is there an alternative action that a company can take that would be more effective and impactful, or that more closely aligns with company goals?
  8. Result of inaction: Will failing to take action negatively impact talent, shareholders, clients, or the company’s brand?


We created a white paper to explain best practices for dealing with these requests, which is published on our website.


Wes Werbeck: [email protected]

Since 2011, Out Leadership has engaged more than 300 CEOs on five continents in conversations about the business impact of LGBT+ equality, and I have seen first-hand the power CEOS have to drive inclusion within their companies, in their communities, and around the world. The engagement of the global C-Suite has truly benefited the progress of LGBT+ equality, and CEOs will continue to play a critical role in our movement. 

Todd Sears, CEO

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